ARRL EMC Committee Semi-Annual Report

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Nov 21, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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ARRL EMC Committee Semi
-
Annual Report

Doc. #
21

For The

American Radio

Relay League

Board of Directors Meeting

J
anuary

1
5
-
1
6
, 20
10

Submitted By

Dennis Bodson, W4PWF

Chairman, ARRL EMC Committee

Mission Statement:

The EMC Committee monitors developments in
the Electromagnetic Compatibility
(EMC) field and assesses their impact on the Amateur Radio Service. The Committee
informs the ARRL Board of Directors about these activities and makes policy
recommendations for further action, if appropriate.

The overall

goals of the committee are:



Advise the ARRL Board about issues related to radio
-
frequency interference



Advise the ARRL HQ staff on the content of its publications



Make recommendations to the ARRL Board and HQ staff

Members of the Committee:



Dr.
Dennis Bod
son, W4PWF, ARRL Roanoke Division Director, EMC Committee
Chairman



Mr. Mike Gruber, W1MG, ARRL Lab RFI Engineer, HQ Staff Liaison



Mr. Jody Boucher, WA1ZBL, RFI troubleshooter, Northeast Utilities



Mr. Ed Hare, W1RFI, ARRL Laboratory Manager



Mr. Ron Hranac,
N0IVN, Technical Leader, Cisco Systems;
past member of the
Board
of Directors, Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers



Mr. Steve Jackson, KZ1X, VDSL and wireless communications



Dr. Ron McConnell, W2IOL, T1E1.4 VDSL Standards Committee



Mr.
Jerry Rami
e,

KI6LGY,
ARC Technical Resources, Inc.



Mr. Cortland Richmond, KA5S, EMC Engineer



Mr. Mark Steffka, WW8MS, Automotive EMC engineer



Dr. Steve Strauss, NY3B, Home Phone Networking Alliance Technical Committee



Mr. Brent Zitting, KB4SL
, International Broadban
d Electric
Communications
. Inc.
(IBEC)



Mr. Hugh Turnbull, W3ABC, ARRL Honorary Vice President, EMC
Committee Member Emeritus

HQ Staff:

The role of the ARRL HQ staff consists of the following:



Answer individual inquiries from hams (and sometimes their neigh
bors) about
RFI problems



Write and publish articles about RFI



Write and publish the ARRL RFI Book



Design and update ARRL's RFI web pages



Maintain a database at ARRL to facilitate EMC case tracking and reporting



Work with ARRL's D.C. office on various spect
rum and RFI
-
related filings



Maintain contact with industry



Participate in standards and industry groups. This includes ANSI C63, Society
of Automotive Engineers EMC and EMR committees, Home Phone
Networking Alliance, VDSL, HomePlug, FCC and individual com
panies.

Mr. Gruber handles the majority of the staff work on EMC matters.

In the
2nd

half of
2009, he also
continued with work and other
updat
es to

the ARRL RFI Web pages.

Some of this effort was being driven by the new upcoming ARRL Web site.



Mr. Hare

submitted a
n IEEE Project Authorization Request for a proposed IEEE
Recommended Practice document for utilities to handle a power line noise complaint.

This project was
considered by the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society
Standards Development Co
mmittee at its August 2009 meeting.

Mr. Hare
continues to
report
considerable interest among his electric
-
utility contacts.

As previously reported,
Mr. Gruber
had

completed a rough draft of
this document during the first half of 2009
.


Second

Half 200
9

Y
ear Total RFI
-
case statistics:

New RFI Cases


1
55

New electrical power
-
line cases


5
3



ARRL Letters sent


21



FCC 1st Letters s
ubmitted



12



F
CC 2nd Letters s
ubmitted



0

(Note: Laura Smith had issued a number of FCC
letters based on need and input from
the ARRL. These letters were
not formally
submitted by ARRL. Many of these letters were follow
-
up
in nature
and
therefore required custom legal language.
)

Electric Utilities:

Power
-
line interference has continued to be the single number one
known
interf
erence
problem reported to ARRL HQ.

Mr. Gruber reports that power line noise cases have
remained pretty much back on track since the FCC hired
Laura
L.
Smith
on
January 20,
2009
.

Mike Gruber reports
that although he has not had a face
-
to
-
face meeting
with

Ms. Smith

since
March
5
th

of

last year, he continues to have periodic phone conferences with her.
The focus of these discussions is primarily
power line noise and how best to proceed
forward with the Cooperative Agreement.

Ms. Smith

clearly
remains
inte
rested in the
subject and
continu
ing

with
the Cooperative Agreement, a
process

o
f having the FCC
contact power companies about interference complaints.


Of particular interest
are a few cases that have previously been
reported in semi
-
annual
report
s. Here

are some updates:




W1JA in Suwannee, G
eorgia
:

T
his
case had
resulted in a
formal
field
investigation

by the At
lanta
Field office in May of 200
7
.
Although this case had
been ongoing for several years with no resolution, the FCC Field Agent
later
conclude
d the complain
an
t should con
tinue to work with the utility
as he had
been.
John Pelham, W1JA, the complainant in this matter, reports the
noise
continued with little or no abatement after the investigation.


Mr. Gruber had to
opportunity

to visit the site

of th
is

complaint in November
,

2008
and found four offending sources in about an hour’s time.

This case
remains ongoing but the utility is actively working on it. Since the noise is only a
problem during cool and dry weather, and temperatures had been w
arm and
humid through the fall, it has only recently become active again.
The
complainant

continues to
keep the utility, ARRL and FCC advised of any
changes.

This case was first reported to the ARRL in March of 2005, almost five
years ago.




W4FGC in Lake
land, Florida
:

This previously

reported case

also remains
ongoing
. At the present time,
there
doesn’t appear to be any active effort by
either

the FCC or utility to correct this problem.

This case was
first

reported

to
the ARRL in January 2003, about ni
ne years ago.




W0ZK in Northglenn, Colorado
: This is another
case previously investigated by
Mr. Gruber
. Mr. Gruber reports he was able to locate two noise sources during
his investigation. A third source noted but went away
before

it could be
pinpointe
d. Mr. Gruber’s subsequent report was sent to Laura Smith at the FCC
for action.

Although a number of letters between the utility and FCC have been
sent, it remains
ongoing

with no resolution.

It was
first reported

to the ARRL in
February 2008, nearly t
wo years ago




W2PM in Ramsey, NJ
:

This case involves a 69 kV transmission line tower in the
complainant’s backyard. In this case, the utility’s RFI investigator concluded that
there was a composite of noises that were being generated all along the line.

The
problem was not fixable. Based on a recording of the noise, Mr. Gruber
concluded

that there were only two noises affecting the
complainant’s

station
. Mr
Gruber found the two sources in November of 2009. Based on his reports, the
utility’s RFI inves
tigator will look in to it. As of January 12
th

of this year, he has
not contacted the
complainant
. The case remains ongoing with a questionable
good
faith

effort on the part of the utility to fix it.
It was first reported the ARRL
in May of 2009.
Mr. G
ruber believes it is
substantially
fixable and would make a
great example case for
sta
tions near high voltage transmission lines.


Plans
and discussion remain
ongoing

to conduct a
specialized

version of the Workshop
for FCC personnel in
Gettysburg
.


EMC
Committee Web Page


Mr. Gruber
made some
maintenance
updates to
t
he EMC Committee Web page

which
w
ere

completed the
second
half
of
200
9
.
It
includes links

to Committee reports, meeting
minutes, bios and other relevant Committee information.
The URL is:



www.arrl.org/tis/info/emccom.html


Committee
Membership


There was no change in the EMC Committee membership during the
second

half of
200
9
.


PAVE PAWS


Mr. Hare has continued to work with Dan Hen
derson, Paul Rinaldo and Chris Imlay to
analyze PAVE
-
PAWS interference and systems. Ed has been running Longley
-
Rice
propagation calculations on repeaters, helping to identify ways that some of the repeaters
on “the list” of repeaters requiring mitigation
can be kept on the air.


Broadband Over Power Line (BPL):


Broadband over power line (BPL) is the use of electrical wiring or power
-
distribution
lines to carry high
-
speed digital signals. There are two types of BPL of concern to
amateurs. Both
in
-
buildin
g

and
access

BPL have signals that occupy most or all of the
HF range, extending into VHF. The power
-
line or electrical wiring can act as an antenna
and radiate these signals. In
-
building BPL can be used to network computers within a
building. It uses t
he building wiring to carry digital signals from one computer to
another. Most in
-
building BPL operates under the
HomePlug

industry specification.
Access BPL provides broadband Internet ac
cess to homes and businesses, using a
combination of techniques and wiring. Although some BPL feasibility trials have shut
down, the number of
utilities

trying access

or utility
-
applications

BPL
continues to be

slowly increasing.
In
-
building applications
are also on the rise.


In general, BPL installations in 2009 have been stable
--

another way of noting that there
has not been any significant growth in the number of BPL systems in the US.




The primary focus points toward BPL to continue to be deployed in

rural areas,
subsidized by US
-
government loan, multi
-
dwelling and in
-
home BPL and grid
automation.



Mr. Hare continues to represent Amateur Radio’s stake in BPL standards
development on various industry committees. These include the IEEE P1775 BPL
EMC comm
ittee; the
IEEE EMC Society Standards Development Committee

and
ANSI ASC C63
™.


ARRL’s information on BPL is found at
www.arrl.org/bpl
.


Jerry Ramie
also
reports the following related
activi
ties

during

the
second

half of 200
9
:




The ARRL white paper
"Electric Utility Communications, Applica
tions and
Smart Grid Technologies"

posted at

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/UtilityApplications.html

was edited into thr
ee
PowerPoint versions for

delivery to Communications, Power and EMC audiences
.
Each version features the League's logo on the opening slide and the ARRL white
paper in the Bibliography as a major source
.
The EMC version

was submitted to
the IEEE
-

EMC S
ociety Distinguished/Respected Lecturer program for
con
sideration and a variant of the
Presentation was given in
-
person at:



The IEEE EMC Society

Twin Cities Chapter

on 7/14


(as a guest lecturer)



The IEEE Chicago

Section

Summer meeting

on 7/15
.
(guest lec
turer,
standing room only)



The San Francisco Chapter of the IEEE Communications Society on 7/28,


the
variant

called
"Utility Communications in the Modern Grid"



The Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association (PAARA)

on 9/4/09


(Palo Alto,
CA)



The West Valley Amat
eur Radio Association (WVARA) on 9/16 (San Jose,
CA)



The Foothill Amateur Radio Society (FARS) on 11/20 (Menlo Park, CA)



A PowerPoint report, commissioned by the League under its logo, on

the

inaugural
activities of the
P2030 Smart Grid Interoperability Gu
ide

working
group meetings was delivered to the IEEE
-

EMC Society Standards Development
Committee (SDCom) at their International Symposium in August
.
It was well
-
received by SDCom and I was asked (and funded) to represent the EMC Society
at the subsequen
t P2030 meetings in Armonk, NY in October
.
The resulting
PowerPoint,
"EMC Considerations in the Smart Grid,"

was given to each of the
three P2030 Working Groups; Power, IT, and COM
.
The tag line:
"The smart
grid can't interoperate if it can't stay operat
ing."

It will also be given this
month at the EPRI Smart Grid outreach webinar on 1/14/10.




Mike Gruber, W1MG, presented an excellent two
-
day hands
-
on training and live
demonstration of power line gap noise direction
-
finding techniques on October
24
-
25
.
H
is students were Jerry Ramie, KI6LGY, and Brian Cramer, K9RFI
.
Brian took delivery on his full set of radio direction finding equipment for gap
noise work on New Year's Eve and has entered the business of finding power line
gap (RF) noise as
Electrical In
terference Solutions,
I
nc.

(
www.eisisolutions.com
).
His entry into this niche service business is most
welcome, and I'm sure he'll do well with his EMC, Power and Communications
backgrounds
.
(He was my superv
isor when I wrote about EMC for EPRI and has
worked for ComEd in the past)
.

He has recently become a ham and joined the
League!




The W6MQI complaint investigation was begun in Livermore, CA for ARRL on
12/22
.
A 12", 30
-
turn

"sniffer" loop
was completed f
or the job on 12/31
.
The
initial complaint was about a weak, In
-
Premises BPL modem pair, probably DS2
chips, operating un
-
notched across all of 20m
.
The interference received at the
complainant's station probably doesn't meet the definition of "harmful
i
nterference" since CW stations near the OFDM carriers (spaced at 1.1

kHz) can
still be heard clearly and copied.
Upon the second visit, however, there were also
two local, strong (S7) sources that were evident at 14.030

MHz. These probably
do meet the de
finition of "harmful interference," as they prevented the copying of
desired signals. One appears to be broadband leakage from a cable TV head
-
end
distribution amplifier and the other appears to be a clock (CW) signal at 14.030

MHz from a residential roof
-
top solar installation's controller, inverter

or other Pt.
15 device within the home.


Automotive EMC:


The Headquarters staff continues to send all reports of automotive EMC problems to
interested people in the automotive industry. While these reports a
re advisory, they are
helpful to the industry in planning for future designs.

Mr. Steffka also helped prepare
some responses to Technical Information Services (TIS) questions for ARRL members.

Both
Mr. Steffka

and
Mr. Gruber

are attempting to obtain info
rmation from Toyota
concerning an HF interference p
roblem

when operating from a Prius hybrid vehicle.


Mr. Steffka also
assisted in review of EMC related material for the 2010 ARRL
Handbook. In addition, he provided input on the autom
ot
ive
c
h
ap
t
e
r for the

second
pri
nting of the ARRL RFI Book, Sec
ond Edition.

Mr. Hare continues as the ARRL
representative on the Society of Automotive Engineers EMC (Electromagnetic
Compatibility) and EMR (Electromagnetic Radiation) Committees.


Cable Television:


As a whole,

the cable industry continues to do a good job at adhering to the FCC's
regulations about leakage and interference.

ARRL has received only a few reports of
problems, indicating that most systems are either clean or are addressing complaints
effectively.

Only two of these cases required Mr. Hranac’s involvement and ARRL
follow up during the second half of 2009.

Mr. Hranac contributed cable
-

and DTV
-
related technical material to the 2010 edition of the ARRL Handbook and the revised
printing of the RFI Book
, 2
nd

Ed.


Home Phone Networking Alliance


D
r. Strauss reports there are no issues relative to EMI [conducted or radiated] that have
been reported that he is aware of during the past quarter
.
The Home Phone Networking
Alliance still exists but membership
is
waning

and no scheduled technical committee
meetings occur any longer
.
This trend likely shows the overall state of this technology as
a viable in
-
home network transport technology
.
Shipments of the technology, while
statistically relevant, very much
pale in comparison to other transport technologies such
as WIFI
.
HPNA technology is seeing a major transition into being a service provider
technology from that of being a "normal" consumer set
-
up
-
based technology
.
The
technology has found a niche market

in the US IPTV market and according to projections
this fast growing market will grow from 5M subscribers in 2009 to around 15.5M by
2013
.
The biggest up
-
side here to this trend is that as a service provider technology a
relatively small number of provid
ers (rather then the home consumer myriad) will be
actively installing and hence dealing also with the complaints of the general public
.
In
theory this should minimize the level of required interaction on this committees part
should EMI issues arise.


D
r
.

Strauss' company no longer participates nor supports HPNA technology.

Database:

The ARRL HQ staff maintains a database of RFI reports and cases. This is used
primarily as a case
-
management tool for the several hundred RFI cases ARRL handles
every year,
but the information the Lab staff are gathering about types of interference
cases, involved equipment and frequencies will provide a wide range of reporting
capability. Here are some statistics from the database for the
2
nd

half of 200
9
:


RFI COMPLAINTS
BY SOURCE:



Power Line Noise

53

Amateur Radio

19

Unknown

46

Appliances & Electrical Devices

4

Automotive

3

Computer

5

Electric Fence

2

Non
-
Amateur Transmitters

2

TV

6

Medical Device

0

Cordless Phone

0

CATV

2

Street Light

1

Lighting & Lightin
g Device

2

Miscellaneous

4

BPL

1

Elevator

2

Solar Generating System

1

Wind Farm

1

U
-
Verse System

1

TOTAL
1
st

Half 200
9

cases:

15
5







RFI COMPLAINTS BY VICTIM:


Amateur Radio

12
9

BC Radio

1

Stereo & Intercom

3

Automotive

0

Telephones

4

Unkn
own

2

Computer

& Related Devices

3

TV

4

Miscellaneous

3

U
-
Verse

6

TOTAL
1
st

Half 200
9

cases:

1
5
5



Committees:

ARRL continues to be represented on professional EMC committees. Messrs.
Hare and
Bodson

continue to represent the interests of Amateur R
adio on the ANSI ASC C63™
RFI committee. Mr. Hare is the ARRL C63™ representative; Dr. Bodson is the alternate.
Mr. Hare serves as the chairman of Subcommittee 5, Immunity. Mr. Hare also chairs the
C63 committee's ad
-
hoc working group on power
-
line comm
unications devices. This
continues to be a hot topic of discussion at the C63 meetings.

The C63 committee is working on developing industry standards for immunity, emissions
and testing of electronic devices. ARRL serves as a resource to the committee to

protect
the interests of Amateur Radio. Subcommittee 1 continues to work on a variety of EMC
projects, primarily related to test site standardization. Subcommittee 5 deals with
immunity and immunity measurement issues. Subcommittee 8 deals with various

types
of medical equipment. The ARRL EMC
-
Committee representation on C63 watches
immunity and testing developments.

ARRL also continues its participation in the Society of Automotive Engineers EMC and
EMR Committees. Mr. Hare is the ARRL representative
on those committees. Mr.
Steffka also serves on the committees, representing his employment in the automotive
industry.

The Future of EMC and Amateur Radio:

Interference to hams appears to be the present major work of the committee. Although
immunity pro
blems still do occur, this is being addressed at the national and international
standards level. RFI from unlicensed devices poses a major real threat to Amateur Radio
at this time. This will continue to require significant Committee and ARRL staff
atten
tion. To the extent possible with existing staff, or with additional resources, the
ARRL should increase its contact with standards organization, industry groups and
individual companies, and continue to work on all aspects of RFI problems and solutions.

ARRL's information about RFI can be read at
http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/rfigen.html
.